Interviewing for EQ

My client was a highly skilled physician who had become interested in physician leadership. His superiors in a large healthcare system saw potential. They threw him into the deep end. They gave him a very difficult set of responsibilities, leading other physicians who were not all that interested in being led. Sure enough, he stumbled a bit – not awful, but he did temporarily damage some relationships. Not a great start. His immediate superior said: “Let’s get you a coach. I know this guy . . . ” While my client’s EQ skills were not particularly low, it was clear that he was going to need to build his EQ skill repertoire to succeed, both in this difficult assignment and in the future difficult assignments to which he aspired. But which EQ skills needed focus the most? Where should he and I focus our attention? Answering that question required an…

Coaching Leaders about Employee Attraction and Retention

It’s a seller’s labor market. Jobs everywhere are going unfilled. Unfilled jobs handicap an organization’s ability to deliver on its promises. Unfilled jobs can even become an existential crisis for some companies.  Let’s look at how you might be able to help. Most companies seem to think that money is the answer. But for organizations looking to get out in front of their competitors for talent, it is only part of the answer. Unfortunately, many leaders don’t know what to do when they play the money card and it doesn’t work. Dan Pink, in his book Drive, talks about what motivates employees beyond money. Pink notes that the thinking and practices that most companies use today evolved to solve problems that were very different from the ones your client organizations now face. He calls it Management 1.0. Those problems and solutions have their roots in the Industrial Revolution. In those…

Job Description for Executive Coaches

Leaders’ jobs are confusing, and pretty much impossible. They must do them anyway, and do them with apparent confidence. What makes leadership so hard? Consider the job description. Wanted: Leader who can Align people who have different ideas and skills to a common purpose. Select the right people, and put them in the right positions, so that they can accomplish that purpose. Catch people being successful. Have difficult conversations when things go wrong. Inspire Build relationships that engage followers. Understand how organizations work. Understand their business and all its component parts. Manage the myriad emotions that followers bring, arising from followers’ experiences with past leaders. Have self-awareness regarding their own emotions, and how they impact others. Have enough resilience to bounce back from mistakes and unfair criticisms. There is more, but you get the picture. Leaders need you, and it’s no wonder! But let’s be clear about what they do…